A review or an experience?
A storm just passed through Dallas. Not a destructive storm like so many that happen in this part of the country, rather just an angry storm. The kind of storm that sets you weather app into a frenzy. Blows the furniture around and knocks the power out. For someone like me, these are horrible storms. I do not go back to sleep, I do not get a head start on my day. I merely sit, groggy and out of place within the world around me. Since the world was just starting to rise with the sun over the horizon except for my house where people were still hours away from consciousness and lost in a few more hours of deserved and much needed rest. I decided to step outside and get lost in the spirit of a Texas sunrise.
Knowing that I needed a soundtrack, I brought with me a copy of Drew Davidsen’s new CD, “A Good Life” and waited to the for the experience that would transport me into a new reality without ever moving a muscle. It was a transcendental expedition. Once I was settled in to my spot, the first notes of A Good life sent the tone for a spiritual voyage with the gentle woodwinds lifted the conscious spirit and allow Drew to set the tone of the travelogue of his journey. In a clear and unapologetic stance, he lays down his true calling, “I’m not ashamed to tell anyone what I’m fighting for”. The freedom of a dead man’s soul so he might live again”. This new Drew allows himself to expand from the jazz guitarist base into the Adult Contemporary world where is message can reach a crowd desperately in need of a rally point.
This new direction was a direct inspiration of Drew’s step brother Nick Tischler. Nick was Dave’s step brother who recently lost his battle with cancer. “It’s the record he wanted me to make when he was sick”. While pushing further into the pop medium Drew still keeps his jazz guitar chops as the foundation in “Lost without Your Cause”. I’m sure a nod to the strength Drew found during the tests of faith during Nick’s struggles. The sincerity of the lyrics can only be described as an open letter to God. With Driven, he professes his love but takes care to point out that it is that love that makes him work hard to make the most of his time on this world.
Once the declarations are established, Drew lifts the spirits with the sort of good time driving pop songs that give you reason to love the live you have within you. “What’s in your bag” begs you to see what emotions you are holding to yourself. Whether these feeling are lifting you up or holding you down. The new Drew transformation really takes shape in the next three songs, “Ticket to the Show, “Connecticut Avenue” and “Out of the Blue”. Three slice of life pop dramas that equal anything on the charts today. With every story, a reflection and celebration of the stories that make up a soul’s epic reveal themselves and makes you relive the good times you have experienced.
Just as you feel that Drew has moved on from his Jazz roots, the album closer and current single, “Pulling Me Closer” reminds of you the reasons Drew Davidsen remains what of the great guitar players. This Pat Metheny inspired spiritual to the true reason to live. Love. Much like my love for a woman who is the complete opposite of everything I am. The guitar solos in this song echo the ethereal tones of a man searching for his spirituality and celebrating the common experiences in life that haven’t been expressed with such convictions since Woody Guthrie.
As the guitar fades out on A Good Life, I find myself back within my body. This mediation of reflection centers me back to a crisp, bright and vibrant day. If this was a movie, my love would be in the doorway and we embrace ready to journey together. However this is real life and it’s going to be several hours before anything stirs in this household. I resign myself to walking around the garden and contemplating my own journey.
The reason I tell you this is to explain how universal A Good Life truly is. While you have to give Drew credit and acknowledge the courage to shift from a secure path, A Good Life has what all great music has at its roots. Relatability. The songs are from the heart and that heart is pouring itself out to you. Longing for acceptance but realizing that acceptance is really only achieved by finding peace within yourself. It’s a bold new direction from Drew Davidsen. A collection of songs that celebrate his path. A challenge to everyone to expand their horizons, to keep up with him on his journey.
A Good Life is fantastic new direction. A path should expand his reach into new territory. It’s a bold statement and in my case, a transcendental experience.
You can check it out here and see if you see the light.